DEF LEPPARD Guitarist PHIL COLLEN On EDDIE VAN HALEN - "He Was The Most Important Rock Player After JIMI HENDRIX"

September 26, 2021, a month ago

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DEF LEPPARD Guitarist PHIL COLLEN On EDDIE VAN HALEN - "He Was The Most Important Rock Player After JIMI HENDRIX"

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen recently spoke with Music Radar, and during the conversation he discussed the influence Eddie Van Halen had on him and on guitar in general.

Collen: "When I first met Eddie, it was on Van Halen’s first British headline tour at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park, London. He was so humble, considering he was such a monster player. We were talking about guitars and I had this Strat that my mum had gotten me for my 21st birthday. It was the main guitar I used later on the Hysteria stuff – whenever you hear anything on that record, it’s probably that.

When I told him I had this beautiful Strat that I loved, he actually said, 'You know, you won’t be happy until you’ve taken that pickup out and carved out space for a humbucker!' And I thought, 'Fuck!' but I did it because Eddie told me to do it (laughs)! We put a DiMarzio in there and yeah, whenever you hear 'Animal' or any of those tracks on the radio, that’s what you’re hearing!”

"I have to say he was the most important rock player after Jimi Hendrix, who was the first real guitarist. Everyone at the time had this sound in their head but they couldn’t really do it. Jimi could, and very naturally. I still don’t think anyone’s come close to Hendrix ever since.  But Eddie has to come next, he changed guitar in a similar way. It was the purity of his style. Sure, the shredding was great and the tapping was unique – I’d never heard it before – but the vibrato was truly amazing. He could make his guitar sing. It was all very natural. The main difference between them was that Hendrix was a singer and that meant he had a different approach to it."

Read the complete interview here.

Back in May, Collen released the "Quadrant 4” video below, along with his Delta Deep bandmates Forrest Robinson (drums) and Craig Martini (bass).

Says Phil - "I recruited Drummer Forrest Robinson and bass player Craig Martini to accompany me on this track. We did a shred guitar, hard rock update of the 1973 jazz rock fusion classic 'Quadrant 4'. I’ve always loved the version from Billy Cobham’s Spectrum album that featured Tommy Bolin on guitar. We (Delta Deep) opened up our set with this song every night on Joe Satriani’s G3 tour in 2018 and it was always a breakneck blast. I also wanted to let everyone know about some of the stuff I’ve been doing during Covid. This is just one of the amazing compositions I’ve recorded. More to come…"

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